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Maldives minister denies hold up in bridge project over cost dispute

Mohamed Visham
30 August 2016, MVT 14:21
The the temporary platform constructed for the landmark China-Maldives friendship bridge. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO/NISHAN ALI
Mohamed Visham
30 August 2016, MVT 14:21

Housing minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu on Tuesday denied any hold up the ongoing landmark bridge project to link the capital to the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale over a cost dispute.

Muizzu on Twitter said the "bridge project was continuing 24/7" responding to rumours that the project had been held up due to the cost of laying the steel pipes which has exceeded estimates done during the orginal survey.

The pipes are being drilled by a German company which is believed to be the most challenging task of the project.

The bridge dubbed China-Maldives Friendship bridge is being financed with USD126 million in grant aid and a concessionary loan from China along with USD12.6 million from the Maldivian state budget, government had said earlier.

The over water Male-Hulhumale Bridge will stretch out to 1.39 kilometers in length and 20 meters in width.

The contractor chosen for the project, CCCC Second Harbour Engineering, was blacklisted by the World Bank over fraudulent practices during a road improvement project in the Philippines. But the government had insisted that it did not have any role in the bidding process, which was conducted by the Chinese government.

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